ITV, BreakThru Films seal partnership

Companies to develop mutually beneficial projects

LONDON -- ITV Prods. has inked a strategic partnership with BreakThru Films, the indie film and TV banner behind Oscar-winning animated short "Peter and the Wolf."

BreakThru will receive undisclosed financial backing from the U.K. commercial broadcaster in addition to management advice and office overhead support.

In exchange, ITV Prods. will jointly develop and co-produce on "mutually beneficial" projects and distribute some products through ITV Worldwide, the parties said Wednesday.

"The beauty of this new relationship is that it enables us to retain autonomy, whilst at the same time benefiting from a creative collaboration with the one of the U.K.'s biggest and most successful producers of original content," BreakThru Films managing director Hugh Welchman said.

The deal was brokered by ITV Global Content managing director Lee Bartlett as part of the broadcaster's plan to accelerate growth in the company's global content arm through partnerships and investments in other production companies.

Said Bartlett: "This deal perfectly demonstrates our strategy of backing young, highly creative talent and giving them the experience and resources of ITV Global Content to provide them with the right kind of environment and opportunities to continue developing new ideas -- not only for mainstream television but for other distribution platforms and venues."